Higher-than-average snowpack and corresponding runoff in Wyoming’s Big Horn River Basin has resulted in surplus hydropower for Western Area Power Administration customers with Loveland Area Projects power contracts.
The excess federal hydropower will be delivered to 17 existing LAP customers in May.
“WAPA’s customers will benefit from additional at-cost federal hydropower as a result of these conditions,” said WAPA Vice President of Power Marketing for Rocky Mountain Region David Neumayer. “This means our customers will likely pay less for power they need in May to serve their consumers.”
WAPA’s Rocky Mountain Region sells hydropower generated at 19 powerplants operated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Due to the above-average snowpack in the Big Horn River Basin, Reclamation anticipates that generation in May will exceed the amount already reserved for LAP customers. Under the LAP general marketing criteria, surplus energy is offered first to existing customers.
Excess hydropower conditions are fairly rare. WAPA has only offered surplus power to LAP customers three times in the past decade, including last year
LAP provides hydropower and other services to municipalities, rural electric cooperatives, investor owned utilities, federal agencies, military bases, irrigation districts and Native American tribes.
(Graph courtesy of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation)